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Red Sox vs. Royals lineup: Is the dog daze over?

The Red Sox could start a winning streak tonight behind Andrew Cashner, and I’m told wins are fun.

Kansas City Royals v Boston Red Sox
Xander is too cool so he has to sit tonight, sorry.
Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

The Red Sox (60-55), who are still alive and kicking for a playoff berth despite a horrifying recent swoon, well they can win another baseball game tonight (7:10 p.m., NESN) against the Royals (40-74) tonight, and the Royals are very good at letting other teams win.

Andrew Cashner gets the start for Boston, and if that’s not exciting enough for you, I don’t know what to say except that I agree it’s not fun. I mean sure, he’s better than Chris Sale, but who isn’t these days? I mean besides Royals starter Jakob Junis, that is, he of the 5.03 ERA. Okay I’m not really asking, as it turns out. Like everyone else out there these days, I’m dogging it. But as far as tests go for the Sox, this is one of the easier ones. Just because they failed the tests against Tampa Bay and New York — badly — well this one isn’t any harder because of it. You only play the team in front of you, and the Royals are the team in front of the Sox tonight.

A night after being removed for precautionary reasons, Mookie Betts is back atop the lineup, so we can rest easy about the reigning MVP, provided a .283/.390/.491 slash line is acceptable with almost two months to play (it is). Xander Bogaerts is not in the lineup, with Brock Holt playing shortstop, Andrew Benintendi batting cleanup, and Michael Chavis at second base. Despite all the negative stuff, go Sox, obviously. These should be the fun ones, at least.

Game 116 vs. Royals

Lineup spot Royals Red Sox
Lineup spot Royals Red Sox
1 Whit Merrifield, 2B Mookie Betts, RF
2 Alex Gordon, LF Rafael Devers, 3B
3 Hunter Dozier, RF J.D. Martinez, DH
4 Jorge Soler, DH Andrew Benintendi, LF
5 Cheslor Cuthbert, RF Brock Holt, SS
6 Ryan O'Hearn, 1B Christian Vázquez, C
7 Bubba Starling, CF Mitch Moreland, 1B
8 Meibrys Veloria, C Michael Chavis, 2B
9 Nicky Lopez, SS Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
SP Jakob Junis, RHP Andrew Cashner, RHP